Senior Sam Mickelson scored two quick hoops for Madison Memorial Saturday evening to pull the hosts within 49-45 of Kaukauna with 12:49 left in the game.
From that point, however, Kaukauna took complete control of the non-league game en route to an 80-55 triumph.
The Ghosts' impressive 31-10 run to end the game was fueled by strong play from backcourt shooting stars Brody McMullen and Jonah Roehrig, and promising sophomore forward Andrew Jensen. McMullen and Roehrig each knocked down key three-point baskets while Jensen controlled things in the paint.
Kaukauna improved to 8-2 with the victory while Madison Memorial slipped to 4-8.
Andrew Jensen, 6-9, Soph., F, Kaukauna
Jensen had a rather pedestrian first half -- six points and three rebounds while playing all 18 minutes. The stellar class of 2026 prospect came out with fire in his eyes in the second half, though, scoring on two early possessions and scoring 13 points while grabbing three rebounds. His 19-point, six-rebound performance helped the Ghosts control thing near the basket. Jensen, who already owns NCAA Division I scholarship offers from Marquette, Milwaukee and West Virginia, is averaging 14.2 ppg and 9.4 rpg through 10 games. "We've demanded more of Andrew lately, and he has really stepped up," Kaukauna coach Mike Schalow said. "The game against Oshkosh West last Tuesday was his best outing of the season, and tonight he had another outstanding game."
With Madison Memorial owning the momentum and forcing Kaukauna to call a timeout, the Ghosts came out and executed a great half-court set. Point guard Nathan Deprez, who finished with 11 assists, used a wing bounce pass to get the ball inside to Jensen. Jensen gathered his balance, used a drop step to shed a defender and scored on a short bank shot in the lane to give the Ghosts a 51-45 lead and jump start the 31-10 run to end the contest.
Brody McMullen, 5-11, Jr., G, Kaukauna
With leading scorer Keegan Van Kauwenberg fighting illness, McMullen got extended minutes against Madison Memorial and he came through with flying colors. McMullen scored a career-best 15 points, knocking down five three-point baskets as the Spartans' defense often clogged the lane to keep Jensen and 6-foot-10 senior Jon O'Neill from scoring near the hoop. That left McMullen open and he responded with several baseline triples. "We didn't know what we were going to get from Keegan," Schalow said. "He wasn't feeling well yesterday and wasn't really able to go today. So Brody came off the bench and was a big surprise for us. We've seen that he is a capable shooter in practice. He was on a roll today and helped our bench answer the call."
"We tried to not let (Anthony) Miller get going and we tried to not let them touch the lane on offense. Over the course of time, we feel that will work for us." Kaukauna coach Mike Schalow on the Ghosts' zone defense.
Jerry Hopfensperger, center, with Kaukauna players and coaches. Hopfensperger, a star basketball player at Appleton High School and Marquette University in the 1950s, attended the game and was able to meet with coach Mike Schalow and the Kaukauna players. Hopfensperger, now 88, began his coaching career at Kaukauna in 1957, and was the Ghosts head coach from 1957-63.
The Kaukauna team was able to practice Friday at the University of Wisconsin practice facility and then attended the Badgers' victory over Nebraska Saturday afternoon before heading over Madison Memorial ... Kaukauna graduates Marc VandeWettering and Adam Smith are both members of the Wisconsin men's basketball staff and helped to arrange things for the Ghosts ... Memorial has played most of the campaign without Mickelson, a 6-foot-7 forward and one of the better class of 2024 prospects in the state. Mickelson, who has endured injuries to both ankles, returned to the Spartans' lineup for spot minutes against Kaukauna. He finished with six points. The hope is Mickelson responds well to his recent playing time so coach Steve Collins can increase his minutes going forward ... Miller finished with 12 points and three triples to lead the Spartans ... Junior wing Abe Dykstra added nine points and sophomore JoJo Rodriguez came off the bench to pop in three three-point baskets and score nine points.